Backpack Program


The Breakdown of the Backpack Program

  • The cost to send home a bag of shelf-stable food per child each weekend for the entire 42-week school year is just $100 per child.
  • The food is intended to supplement the weekend meals both for the child and other members in the household.
  • Backpack bags are distributed to hungry children in Duval County.

ImageThe Backpack program is funded entirely by private donations. Your support can directly impact the life of a hungry child. We are currently raising funds to add children to the program for next school-year. 

For the children who participate in the Backpack program, nutrition begins and ends with the school day. Breakfast and lunch are available free through their schools, however, during the weekends or extended school breaks like Christmas, many of these children go for days without food in their stomachs. Recognizing this problem, we began the Backpack Program locally in 2008.

The Backpack Program helps feed children who live in poverty and are already receiving reduced-fee or free meals during the school week. The program bridges the gap in providing nutritious food outside of the school week when food resources are not readily available, such as weekends and on vacation breaks. Each Friday, a bag of food goes home in their backpacks to provide meals for the child and other members of the family.

Sending home food enough to provide a weekend’s worth of balanced meals for the entire family, results are two-fold. For the child, it means returning to school Monday alert and ready to thrive in the classroom; at the same time, reducing hunger at home improves living conditions, reducing anxiety and bolstering morale for both child and family.

How Can You Help?


  • We are looking for individuals, companies, churches and service clubs to sponsor children to receive the Backpack program. Contact us today to learn more about how you can feed a child throughout an entire school-year for just $100. 
  • Share this page on your Facebook feed to help raise awareness of the program. 
  • To learn more about enrolling your agency or child in the BackPack program, contact Heather Vaughan at  



To learn more about the Backpack Program, or to sponsor a child or site, contact Jennifer Arnold, at 904.730.8226 or e-mail